MLM Success: Mom is Stampin' Up To Help Support Family
Does this sound familiar? You have a job, but decide to leave it to have a baby and stay home. After a while the sleepless nights and lack of adult contact make you feel isolated, and the fact that you are not bringing home a paycheck makes you feel like you're not contributing.
This is exactly what happened to 36-year-old Tara McCormack of Oregon, a stay-at-home-mother of two who has found personal success with the card and scrapbook company Stampin' Up!
"When I had my son, I had no desire to work outside the home, but discussing that and the reality of actually doing that are two totally different things. We were financially hurting -- and after six months at home with my son, I had to get out," McCormack said.
McCormack doesn't miss her bi-weekly pay checks from her job as an insurance adjuster; and even though her monthly checks are smaller than before, she feels she's gained so many things in other ways that she's now coming out on top.
McCormack had never done an arts and craft project in her life, but she went to her friend's house for a Stampin' Up! party to get some much needed adult contact. As much as Tara wanted to continue with the scrapbooking after that first party, she couldn't afford the supplies, so she spoke to the party demonstrator about becoming a demonstrator herself. "I thought I could be a demonstrator and at least pay for my hobby," McCormack recalled.
For an initial cost of $175, McCormack signed up to be a demonstrator and got all the materials and products needed to host three to four workshops -- or, really, parties where you teach people about the company. After three workshops, McCormack made back the money from her initial investment via products sales; but more importantly, she had found a social and financial outlet that made her feel successful. "When you are a stay-at-home mom, there is no praise everyday for what you do. SU was a way to get out of the house, but the praise was amazing. As an adult we need that praise once in a while. It's fulfilling and gives me purpose," she said.
In the first year, McCormack broke even and made just enough money to support her hobby, but by year two, she made the business profitable. Now in her fourth year, she is able to work only 25 hours per month and make about $1,500.
McCormack has now converted her dining room into a Stampin' Up! workshop and she hosts about two parties per month, holds two club meetings per month, and teaches two workshops about new topics to clients each month to keep up with the demands of her clients' hobbies. These events usually take place in the evenings when McCormack's husband is home from work so that he can help with her two sons.
Pros and cons
McCormack's favorite things about Stampin' Up! are that it helps her give great customer service and there is a real sense of teamwork involved with this company. McCormack meets with other demonstrators on a monthly basis to brainstorm ideas and share tips and tricks. "You don't have to worry about people taking your clients either."
The only drawback for McCormack is finding enough time to do it."I have learned to squeeze in 15 minutes here and 15 minutes there whenever possible," she said.
Initially, clients were strictly friends and family, but now her business has matured in more ways than one. "I always carry a card and a catalogue," said McCormack, who now talks to people at the supermarket and gains customers there.
McCormack has also matured as a demonstrator and business owner. "Stampin' Up! has so many products (rubber stamps, digital photography software, scrapbooks, home decor, stationary and paper products, crafting tools and organizers for crafting materials) and it took me a while to learn that I couldn't do everything. I now stick to what I really like and am good at, which is cards and scrapbooking."
Advice from McCormack
McCormick says that there were a lot of things she would have done differently if she had it to do all over again, but her best advice for others is that if you are thinking of a career in MLM/DS, you need to find something that you love, that you want to share with other people: "Something that you would get excited about and call and tell your mother about."
A self-proclaimed "non-saleswoman," McCormack says that because she genuinely enjoys the card making and scrapbooking part of this business, that comes through when she shares Stampin' Up! with others. "If it's a big deal to you, that is what you will portray."
On Nov. 16, the next installment of the MLM/DS series will feature a New York City Ballet professional singer who found her career-fit as a distributor with SendOutCards.
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